There's been a lot of buzz lately about Windows 8.1's new features and additions. Apparently, though, the latest Windows release also takes some things away. According to technology blog McAkins Online, the Windows 8.1 public preview removes the familiar Windows Experience Index from the System control panel.
That two-digit figure has been there since Windows Vista. It's generated by the Windows System Assessment Tool, which tests CPU, memory, graphics, gaming, and storage performance. A score is assigned to each test, and the overall Windows Performance Index is equal to the lowest of those five scores.
In Vista, and later in Windows 7, the Windows Performance Index was used to determine whether Aero transparency effects should be enabled. It was also featured in the Games Explorer, where it looked like a potentially simpler alternative to the lists of minimum system requirements on PC game boxes.
Game publishers seem to have largely ignored the feature, though, and Windows 8 did away with both Aero and the Games Explorer. Now, it looks like the Windows Performance Index may also be up for an early retirement—unless, that is, it returns in the final Windows 8.1 release. Given its limited usefulness, however, I suspect it won't.